BERWICK, COLUMBIA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A Luzerne County family is feeling extra thankful this Veterans Day.
After years of searching for answers, they now finally know what happened to their loved one, a soldier who went missing in action during World War II.
Bonnie Lee-Orth is the clinical coordinator for Luzerne County Community College’s nursing program.
Her great-uncle is a private first class Gordon L. Lee Jr., an army soldier who went missing in action in the Philippines in 1942.
“I took it upon myself to just to one day email the Pentagon, and then within a year I heard a response,” said Lee-Orth.
She learned that Gordon was serving with the Signal Air Warning Company on the island of Luzon at the time of the United States’ entry into World War II. Despite the surrender of U.S. Forces in the spring of 1942, he evaded capture by the Japanese and served with a guerilla unit before being taken as a prisoner of war.
“He was never married, and had no children, I think he was 20 when he was killed. It’s just nice that someone was able to remember him,” says Lee-Orth.
Bonnie was able to retrieve 11 of her great uncle Gordan’s war medals and shared his story at LCCC’s Inaugural Salute to Veterans event on Friday.
“Someday my nieces and nephews can pass them along and have them in remembrance of him that he wasn’t forgotten,” added Lee-Orth.
The government will arrange to have Gordon laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.
To learn more about the process of accounting for missing service personnel visit their website.